Slightly late to have my go at it but I figured that I will share my view on the premiership team of the noughties. I am going to try and pick a team in which the players have been stand out performers within the league for the majority of the decade. This means that players who only have played for the first few years of the 2000's, such as Roy Keane or Alan Shearer, will not make it in nor those who have only featured more recently, such as Torres. I have therefore tried to pick the best players of the last ten years who played in close to every season of the naughties in England (where possible), it is a team that combines quality, consistency and achievements.
GK – Shay Given. Given just beat off competition from Freidal and Van Der Sar as my keeper. Although he may not have the usual height of a standard goalkeeper he is nevertheless an incredible shot stopper. For both Newcastle and now Man City he has been a consistent performer and has very rarely made mistakes.
DR – Jamie Carragher. Now this was certainly the hardest position to choose and am sure many will disagree with my choice, Gary Neville has been the standard choice but for me he has been so poor/hasn't played in the second half of the decade that he does not deserve to make the team. There are few other quality right backs around in the league and even though I would have loved to put Mario Melchiot in the team he is just not good enough.. Carragher's place in the team is probably more a reflection of the weakness in this position than of his strength. He is, however, a very good defender. He has been a solid performer for Liverpool week in and week out for over 420 games and has been capped 34 times. Although not an ideal choice I have no qualms with putting him in the side.
DC – Rio Ferdinand. Playing for Leeds and then Man United Rio has been a solid force in the heart of the defence. Except for his recent dip in form he has been extremely consistent for club and country. He makes the art of defending look easy and his leadership and coolness under pressure saw him rise to become one of the best centre backs in the world during the decade. He also has broken the record for the youngest defender ever to play for England and was the most expensive transfer of all-time when he went to Man United for £30 million.
DC – John Terry. A tough call for the second centre back spot but Terry took it just ahead of Sol Campbell because Sol has not been playing at the top of his game for the last few season. Terry established himself for Chelsea in 2001 and has survived the buying frenzy at the club to become the heart of the team. He has played just shy of 300 times for the club and has been a throwback to the no nonsense, body-on-the-line defending which has made him so successful. A great player in a great team means he has made his way into the side.
DL – Ashley Cole. Love him or hate him (as the majority of people do) Cole has made this left back position his own. This was certainly the easiest decision for me to make. He is excellent going forward and in defence and has performed superbly in the big games for Arsenal and Chelsea.
MR – Cristiano Ronaldo. A player that may have only featured in 7 of the 10 years of the decade but his achievements at his time at Man United meant he could not be overlooked. There were few others ultimately who could have claimed the wide right spot in my mind. The World and European footballer of the year in 2008 took some time to settle in when arriving but once he grew into his new league he went on to dominate it. Scoring 84 goals in his 196 United games is an incredible record for a player playing predominately on the wing. He terrorized defenders and could score in so many ways. He, in only 6 seasons in the league, will always be one of the greatest to play in it.
MC – Steven Gerrard (captain). Emerging for Liverpool in 1998 Gerrard has developed into one of the finest players the premiership has ever seen. He is, and has been for a long time, the go to guy for his club and has carried Liverpool through many-a-match. He has played over 350 times for his club scoring 76 goals, and he has scored those goals at the most important moments.
MC – Frank Lampard. Along side Gerrard I have decided to go with Lampard. The likes of Fabregas and Scholes (and others) were in the running but in terms of influence, consistency and all-round level of performance Frank just took it. Since his move to Chelsea in 2001 Lampard has been at the centre of their progress in the league and European competition alike. He has played over 300 times for Chelsea scoring 93 goals. That record of nearly one goal in every three games speaks for itself. He seldom misses a game and rarely fails to meet his high standards. In 2005 he won FIFA World Player of the Year and has maintained that high level throughout the naughties.
ML – Ryan Giggs. As with Ashley Cole this decision was a straight forward one. Whether or not people feel he deserved his BBC Sports Personality of the Year award or his PFA Player of the Year award last year I don't feel his place in this team can be in question. Quite possibly the best servant to the league the evergreen Ryan Giggs has been an outstanding player for nearly 20 years now. His game may have changed yet his ability to make an impact on a match with a pass, dribble or shot has not.
ST – Thierry Henry. Now I am aware that he stopped playing in 2007 and so missed the final three years of the period but to find a world class striker who has played throughout the decade is not possible to find. Henry was one of, if not the most exciting player the premiership has seen. His ability to score amazing goals, run past defenders with ease and his all-round team play made for great viewing. Bot to forget that he was central to Arsenal's unbeaten 2003-2004 season. Twice PFA Player of the Year and 3rd on the Premiership all-time scorers list with 174 goals in only 254 games for Arsenal means he had to make the team.
ST – Wayne Rooney. The likes of Drogba, Anelka and even Defoe and Keane were all options but Rooney just edged it. When he emerged in 2002 Rooney made an immediate impact scoring a screamer on debut against Arsenal to end their 30 game unbeaten run. He won the 2002 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and has continued to grow into a world class player. His game consists of much more than goals, his creative flair and teamwork add a completely different dimension to his game. Now he has added goals to his repertoire he has become close to the complete striker. Scoring some wonder goals on the way to nearly 250 club appearances Rooney, in my opinion, deserved the final place in my Premiership team of the noughties.
No doubt many of your opinions will differ greatly from mine so please comment on who you agree/disagree with and what your side would look like...